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Brian Cushing: Clowney's 'going to be a great football player'

Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing said South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is going to make an immediate impact in the NFL.

"A guy like Jadeveon Clowney is obviously going to be an instant-impact player, whether it's us picking him or somebody else," Cushing said Monday on "The SXM Blitz" on Sirius XM Radio. "I think he's going to be a great football player in the NFL. He's going to do a great job.

"Like I said, whether it's with us or someone else, he could definitely improve our defense or somebody else's. We'll see what happens."

Cushing, who was the Texans' first-round pick in the 2009 draft, said he pays attention to the draft and the draft process.

"I watch every draft," said Cushing, who has been limited to just 12 games over the past two seasons because of injuries. "It's what I do: I'm a football player, so I watch every guy coming in and who's going to help our football team and how we're going to improve overall."

2014 NFL Draft Winds
College Football 24/7 takes a look at the rumors connecting draft prospects with NFL teams leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft.

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» Tracking teams' interest in top prospects

The idea of Houston taking Clowney with the top pick is gaining steam, and he is expected to meet with the team within the next two weeks. The Texans had a big contingent, including coach Bill O'Brien, at Clowney's pro day workout April 2.

If the Texans do take Clowney at No. 1, he likely would pair with J.J. Watt at defensive end. Clowney could also play a hybrid outside linebacker-defensive end role, similar to the one that former Patriots star Willie McGinest played. Clowney also would give the Texans six former first-rounders as likely starters on defense: He would join Watt, Cushing, cornerbacks Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph and outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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